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Illawarra State Labor MPs – Anna Watson, Paul Scully and Ryan Park – have labelled the community consultation process on the proposal for a correctional facility at Kembla Grange today a farce.

The announcement made by the Member for Kiama stated that the NSW Government will be providing three short drop-in sessions over a period of three days in nearly two months’ time. No evening sessions have been announced for commuter residents, effectively excluding them from being able to take part in the consultation process.

The NSW Government has also not organised a community meeting regarding this proposal.

Illawarra State Labor MPs have called on the Government and Corrective Services NSW to put firm details on the table for the local community to consider in relation to the correctional facility proposed for the Kembla Grange site.

Those firm details should include the size of the facility, its scope, its classification, estimated total cost of construction, who will operate the facility, and how many jobs will be created in operating the facility.

Quotes Attributable to Anna Watson MP:

“If the NSW Government’s ‘community consultation sessions’ consist of a trestle table and some pamphlets in Dapto Square then they should be down here right now, listening to residents and answering their questions - not in two months’ time.

“This Government is scrambling. They don’t want the community asking questions yet because they don’t have any answers.

“The Government needs to hold proper community information sessions. Every stakeholder and resident should be in the same room voicing their opinions. It’s the only way to ensure the entire community is on the same page.”

Quotes Attributable to Ryan Park MP:

“If the Government is serious about getting community feedback – both in support of and opposition to – this proposal, it must provide both the means for a legitimate community consultation process and firm details for the proposal.

“At the moment, Mr Ward’s announcement today does not meet the expectations of a genuine and comprehensive consultation process.”

Quotes Attributable to Paul Scully MP:

“I am disappointed that the proposed consultation does not include a specific consultation session in Unanderra as I have requested from the beginning.

“It is also disappointing that the needs of our large commuter population also appear to have been ignored with no evening consultation sessions as we had requested from the beginning.

“I would hope the plan for notifying residents of the consultation sessions is more comprehensive than this plan so that everyone in the surrounding suburbs is notified of the details of this limited consultation process.”

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